Accessibility links

Breaking News

Repercussion for Repression in Belarus


Blinken Ukraine

The United States has revoked the general license that had effectively suspended sanctions and authorized transactions with nine Belarusian state-owned enterprises.

Repercussion for Repression in Belarus
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:03:33 0:00

The United States has revoked the general license that had effectively suspended sanctions and authorized transactions with nine Belarusian state-owned enterprises. In a statement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the punitive move was a “consequence of the Belarusian authorities’ flagrant disregard for human rights.”

In 2015 the U.S. Treasury Department first issued -- and then repeatedly extended -- the general license allowing transactions with the nine firms because of what State Department Spokesman Ned Price said was “notable progress at the time in the field of human rights and specifically due to the release of all political prisoners in Belarus:”

“Regrettably, we find the human rights situation has deteriorated to arguably the worst point in Belarus’ independent history.”

Secretary Blinken noted that “as a result of government suppression surrounding the fraudulent August 2020 Presidential elections in Belarus and its aftermath, there are more than 340 political prisoners detained in Belarus today. Given the sharply deteriorating human rights situation in Belarus, the U.S. Government determined a further extension would be inconsistent with the Belarus Democracy Act and incompatible with American values. The nine state-owned enterprises affected by this action,” Mr. Blinken said, “finance and support the Lukashenka regime, facilitating its violent repression of the Belarusian people and repeated rejection of the rule of law.”

Secretary Blinken mentioned three Belarusian political prisoners by name – blogger and presidential candidate aspirant Syarhey Tsikhanouski, opposition leader Maria Kalesnikava, and independent media expert Ilhar Losik -- noting that they are “among hundreds of Belarusian prisoners unjustly imprisoned by the Lukashenka regime for exercising their human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

“The United States calls on the Belarusian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all those unjustly detained or imprisoned,” Secretary of State Blinken declared. “Moreover, we commit to working together with the international community to further promote accountability for those responsible for human rights violations and abuses in Belarus.”

XS
SM
MD
LG